The European Commission in partnership with the French Dairy Interbranch Organization (CNIEL), hosted professionals, talented African cooks and media to tastings and workshops on the use of European dairy products in the African cuisine.
Internationally acclaimed Chef Christian Abégan, and Pierre Gay, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Fromager (Best Cheesemonger in France), facilitated the programme, themed “AfroGourmands” .
The 1st edition of “AfroGourmands”, was held in Dakar and Abidjan in June, then Douala in July, and moved to Lagos on October 11th, 2019. This fourth dairy products event took place at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to CNIEL, the 3-year programme will promote the know-how, diversity and excellent quality of the European dairy products- milk, butter, cream and cheese used in the African cuisine.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Operations Officer of CNIEL, Laurent Damiens, said it was organised to highlight the European milk and dairy products that are exported to meet the ever-increasing demands of the Nigerian market. “In 2018, over 248 tons of French cheeses and 178 tons of milk and dairy beverages were exported to Nigeria,” he said. “The purpose of the campaign is not to displace the use of local produce, rather it is to show the culinary possibilities that can be achieved with a fusion of local and international produce.”
Chef, Christian Abégan, who is also a Cordon bleu-trained chef and fervent promoter of African cuisine to the world, hosted a tasting workshop at the event, and recreated the local Nigerian food favourite – Ofada rice, using some European dairy products. Abegan said incorporating European dairy products into local cuisine will improve and upgrade the African food culture. It will also increase the demand and interest in African cuisine, he stated.
Through “AfroGourmands,” the European Commission and CNIEL call on professionals and the general public to come and discover the various dairy products. On social media platforms, pages are dedicated to the programme to enable the sharing of preparation methods, tips and tableware.